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Chicago Blackhawks

Prospect Pulse

Coyotes’ prospect Nick Ross, currently a member of the Regina Pats, intrigues me because he fits my fetish stereotype of a player who can play forward or defense. An offensive defenseman, Ross has good instincts for jumping into the rush and distribute the puck effectively. Once more highly touted than his defense partner Logan Pyett, Ross was moved to forward early in the Pats’ season to jump start their slumbering offense.

A feared open ice hitter, Ross’ offensive numbers do not yet match his potential. That being said, he plays a strong 2-way game and can contribute in other areas if he is not scoring. With that in mind, the Phoenix Coyotes selected him with the 30th overall pick in the 2007 draft. Not a well known player, Ross never-the-less caught the eye of Hockey Canada and he has participated in the World Under-18 Cup. Pats’ Head Coach and Team Canada Assistant Coach Curtis Hunt notes that Ross has great talent but is still adjusting to playing against stiffer competition. He was relegated to a bottom pairing defenseman with Team Canada, a move that Coach Hunt feels will help Ross down the road by highlighting deficiencies in his game.

Still, Ross was able to compete with some relatively famous junior talent, including Thomas Hickey, Luke Schenn and Drew Doughty. Ross himself felt that observing the top talent from Europe helped him to improve his game, especially in regards to positioning. Though GM Don Maloney is pleased with Ross and his talent level, look for him to return to the Pats blueline this winter.

News You Can Use in the Late Morning:

Battle of Alberta has a clarification on yesterday’s Allan Maki story on the rising Canadian dollar. Lots of math here, so contact your friendly neighborhood Asian for help. ( I believe RP has Marc Hoe’s contact info.)

-Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury excited to play a meaningful hockey game outdoors.

-A recap of the the USHL’s trip to Quebec for the CCM Junior Classic.

-An interesting read on Coyotes’ training camp. Very candid points by Don Maloney.

Mirtle with a goaltending history lesson complete with charts and graphs. Also note the explanation of the no juniors in the minors rule.

-Coyotes with a local prospect in camp.

Scheduling a hot topic at NHL Board of Governors’ meetings. Also note that expansion came up, with the typical lip service paid to Winnipeg.

-Perhaps the greatest hockey name ever.

-A video montage of Ray Emery’s greatest hits and an updated Caps’ roster from On Frozen Blog.

-A Q and A with Cory Sarich.

-Flames vets talk about the old days of training camp.

Rangers and Islanders previews.

Islanders’ alums watch their sons participate in camp.

Darren Eliot notes that young stars are the straws that stir the drink in the Western Conference.

-NHL training camp notebook.

-Wickenheiser faces a setback in her goal to play men’s hockey in Europe.

Taking Note with some Odds and Ends.

-The Bubble Boys from Leafs’ camp. I wonder if they know the Moops invaded Spain?

Lafleur pats himself on the back, says Crosby reminds him of himself. Don’t hurt your arm their Guy. I don’t expect to see Sidney smoking in the concourse any time soon.

-A pre-game report for the Jackets-Blackhawks game.

-A quick note on Illegal Curve favorite, Antoine Vermette.

Oilers get a new dressing room. 10,000 sq. ft? Wow.

Manitoba Moose a major player in children’s charities. RP and I did some work for the Yearling Foundation and their efforts are much appreciated in Winnipeg.

Wes Goldstein sees parity in the Atlantic Division.

-Eastern media discovers thriving city in Western Canadian tundra. News at 11.

Running game notes from last night’s Oilers-Panthers game.

-Scores from the Minors and Junior.

-Notes from the Score.

-Notre Dame gets $15 million for a new hockey rink. They might as well stick to hockey, because not even Touchdown Jesus can save that football team.

-Sean Burke retires. He was a good one.

-Canadiens lose two prospects in last night’s game. Kudos to Archer for answering the bell when Le Grand Georges came knocking.

Sportsnet with a preview of three teams with the talent to make the Memorial Cup.

For Illegal Curve, I’m Kyle Kosior